Written by Melissa Sartore
Last Updated: March 2020
With an online MBA, professionals across industries gain the knowledge and skills to advance into leadership and managerial roles. General and operations managers rank among the top 10 largest employment opportunities in Colorado.
In 2015, nearly 60% of online learners in Colorado took coursework from in-state institutions. Unlike a traditional MBA, an online MBA in Colorado allows students to complete coursework on a flexible, convenient schedule. Learners complete accelerated MBA programs in 12-18 months or take classes part time to earn their degrees over several years.
Online MBA programs in Colorado include coursework in business fundamentals, finance and accounting, and organizational leadership. Many degrees also allow students to specialize in fields that meet their personal and professional goals. Degree concentrations such as healthcare and supply chain management may benefit learners pursuing careers with healthcare organizations and manufacturing companies, which rank among the largest employers in the state.
Top 5 Online MBA Programs in Colorado
- Adams State University - Alamosa, CO
- University of Colorado/Denver Anschutz Medical Campus - Denver, CO
- University of Colorado - Colorado Springs - Colorado Springs, CO
- Colorado Christian University - Lakewood, CO
- Colorado State University - Fort Collins - Fort Collins, CO
Colorado's Online MBA Programs
The colleges and universities listed below hold national or regional accreditation. When choosing an online MBA program, learners should research institutional accreditation, which may impact financial aid and transfer options. They should also learn whether an online MBA in Colorado holds programmatic accreditation, which comes from specialized agencies that oversee the academic standards of business departments and programs.
Three bodies provide accreditation to business degrees: the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, and the International Accreditation Council for Business Education. To learn more about accreditation and its importance, refer to the MBA accreditation guide.
|Rank||School||Location||Cost||Toggle||Logo||Tuition||% Receiving Financial Aid||Student Population||School Type||Description|
Adams State University
|Location Alamosa , CO||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 63||Student Population 3,404||Tuition $15,120||School Type Public||
Students who can’t make it to ASU’s Alamosa, Colorado campus can still gain crucial leadership, analytical, and problem solving skills through the school's online master of business administration. The 36-credit, six-semester online MBA takes around two years to complete and offers several specialization options. Students may choose from one of five concentrations: finance, leadership, sport leadership, public administration, and health administration. The first four tracks culminate in a capstone project, while those pursuing a health administration emphasis may choose between completing a thesis or a practicum.
Prospective Colorado state online MBA candidates may apply and begin classes three times a year. Applicants must possess a 2.75 undergraduate GPA or better. Distance learners receive access to helpful resources, such as career and professional development services, support from the graduate studies office, and an online library.
ASU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
ConcentrationsView School Profile
University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus
|Location Denver , CO||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 36||Student Population 23,671||Tuition $29,808||School Type Public||
Part of the University of Colorado system, CU Denver is home to a thriving distance education division that offers 28 web-based degrees, including a 48-credit professional master of business administration. The flexible program encourages students to learn at their own pace, and most complete their degree between 16 months and five years. University of Colorado online MBA candidates can also customize their curriculum through one of five specialized academic tracks. The program does not require any residency components, although students may opt to pursue their degree in a hybrid format and take evening classes on campus.
CU Denver accepts applications on a rolling basis. The admissions committee prefers applicants with an undergraduate degree in business. Students who wish to gain a business foundation before pursuing an MBA can earn a graduate business certificate through CU Denver. Students can apply all of the courses in the six-month certificate program toward the MBA. Prospective students must hold a minimum GMAT score of 500.
CU Denver holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
ConcentrationsView School Profile
University of Colorado Colorado Springs
|Location Colorado Springs , CO||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 47||Student Population 11,988||Tuition $29,484||School Type Public||
When UCCS’ online master of business administration debuted over 20 years ago, it was one of the first online business degrees to be accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). This 45-credit online MBA includes three foundational courses, which may be waived for candidates with sufficient academic or professional business experience. These students need only complete 36 credits to graduate, and many do so in less than 18 months. The curriculum also includes 12 elective credits, which students may fulfill by choosing an area of emphasis, such as project management or healthcare administration.
Along with access to a large digital library, University of Colorado online MBA students enjoy resources and academic support services from UCCS’ Business Career Development Center. Applicants may transfer up to six credits from other AACSB-accredited graduate programs.
UCCS holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Colorado Christian University
|Location Lakewood , CO||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 52||Student Population 6,879||Tuition $21,645||School Type Private||
This Christian institution’s comprehensive online master of business administration presents advanced business concepts with a focus on decision-making, critical thinking, and leadership skills. Built upon core financial and management principles, the 39-credit curriculum includes four concentration options: leadership, healthcare administration, advanced accounting, or project management. CCU’s MBA also stands out among Colorado state online MBA programs for its unique certificate program. Candidates may earn a postgraduate certificate in healthcare administration, leadership, advanced accounting, or project management concurrently with their MBA. The accounting concentration prepares students to sit for the certified public accountant exam. Full-time students may complete their online MBA in as few as 18 months.
Applicants must possess a bachelor's degree with at least a 2.5 GPA, and should have five years of professional experience. Applicants do not need to hold an undergraduate business degree to gain admission, although candidates pursuing the accounting emphasis must hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
CCU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
ConcentrationsView School Profile
Colorado State University - Fort Collins
|Location Fort Collins , CO||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 45||Student Population 30,614||Tuition $39,732||School Type Public||
Developed to provide maximum flexibility, CSU’s 42-credit online MBA features an asynchronous format and five year-round start dates. The master of business administration curriculum includes an optional data analytics specialization and the opportunity to participate in an international business trip. Most students complete the program in 21 months. MBA graduates may pursue several related postgraduate certificates in areas such as finance, marketing management, and accounting.
Prospective students must possess a bachelor's degree from accredited four-year institution and demonstrate a 3.0 undergraduate GPA or better. The university does not accept transfer credits. Once enrolled, students gain access to CSU's extensive student services, including career assistance and a digital library.
CSU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The university’s online MBA holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
|Location Denver , CO||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 56||Student Population 8,725||Tuition $34,200||School Type Private||
Founded by Jesuits in 1877, this Denver institution’s accelerated, web-based professional master of business administration is ideal for working professionals. Students benefit from six annual start dates, and students can complete the asynchronous, eight-week online MBA courses through part-time study. Learners may pursue an optional concentration in finance, accounting, health industry leadership, strategic management, or marketing. While the basic MBA curriculum requires 39 credits, those who select a concentration must complete 42 credits.
Newly enrolled students with a bachelor's degree in a field other than business must complete three prerequisite courses. Out-of-state and Colorado state online MBA candidates may transfer in up to 90% of the required credits. Once admitted, students can receive career preparation assistance and job search help through Regis’ Center for Career and Professional Development, explore the university’s digital library, and request online academic support.
Regis holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Colorado State University - Pueblo
|Location Pueblo , CO||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 57||Student Population 7,563||Tuition $13,500||School Type Public||
CSU - Pueblo’s 36-credit online master of business administration introduces the advanced concepts and applied skills needed to excel in managerial and leadership roles. Featuring six annual start dates, the accelerated program allows Colorado State University online MBA candidates to earn their degree in one or two years, depending on their enrollment status. Most full-time students take two classes per eight-week session.
Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree, demonstrate strong academic performance, and achieve a minimum GMAT score of 400. Applicants who do not hold a business degree may need to complete prerequisite business courses before enrolling in online MBA classes. Students may transfer up to nine credits from other accredited master's programs. All learners must maintain a 3.0 GPA in order to graduate.
CSU - Pueblo holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The online MBA holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.View School Profile
Colorado Technical University
|Location Colorado Springs , CO||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid -||Student Population 22,757||Tuition $28,080||School Type Private||
Both nationwide and in Colorado state, online MBA programs that feature certain concentrations can be hard to find. CTU’s 48-credit online master of business administration allows distance learners to focus their studies through one of 12 concentrations, including entrepreneurship, healthcare management, and global leadership. In addition to core coursework, students complete 12 elective credits in their chosen focus area and a four-credit management capstone, which consists of a business simulation project.
Courses start every eight weeks, and class sessions run for 5.5 weeks each. Applicants must hold at least a 2.0 undergraduate GPA. While candidates from all academic backgrounds may apply, those without a business degree must complete three MBA foundation courses. The program accepts transfer credits on a case-by-case basis, and students may transfer up to 75% of their required MBA credits.
CTU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Its MBA program holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
University of Denver
|Location Denver , CO||Tuition $$$$$||% Receiving Financial Aid 40||Student Population 11,614||Tuition $77,940||School Type Private||
While DU’s Daniels College of Business has offered accredited MBA programs since 1923, the university’s online master of business administration makes it possible for students nationwide to take the same courses, such as data analytics, management, and entrepreneurship, all with the added flexibility of both asynchronous and synchronous online courses.
The 60-credit general MBA takes most students 21 months to complete. By adding a concentration in either marketing or finance, students add two four-credit courses to the degree, bringing the total required credits to 68. Unlike other online MBA programs in Colorado, this program includes two residency requirements called collaborative immersions. One of these three-day immersions takes place on the Denver campus, while the other is held at one of several international locations.
The program offers four start dates per year and accepts applications on a rolling basis. Students with a bachelor's degree, a 3.2 GPA, and three years of work experience do not need to submit any test scores. Once admitted, students gain access to the institution's career services, which include professional development, networking, and career assistance.
DU holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Its MBA program holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
ConcentrationsView School Profile
Careers and Salaries for MBA Graduates in Colorado
Colorado enjoys a robust economy, boasting one of the lowest unemployment rates and fastest job growth rates in the country, according to a 2019 report in USA Today. Colorado's economy thrives across several sectors, and many of the state's fastest-growing jobs require a master's degree. Online MBA graduates in Colorado can pursue careers in fields like aerospace, genetic counseling, statistics, healthcare, and law.
Colorado's top industries are generally concentrated in the state's larger cities, like Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, Pueblo, and Colorado Springs. These communities form an urban band stretching north to south through the center of the state. Some thriving industries, such as agriculture, benefit from Colorado's natural resources and spread across more rural areas.
Experts expect the job outlook for Colorado residents to remain positive in the future. A study by the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder projects that the economy will continue growing over the next few years, but at a slower, more sustainable rate.
|Company||Location||Main Industry||Number of Employees|
|University of Colorado Boulder||Boulder||Education||13,300|
|Lockheed Martin Space Systems||Littleton||Aerospace||10,000|
|Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center||Denver||Hospitals||7,000|
Online MBA graduates can find jobs in many prospering industries. Business-savvy individuals can find an array of opportunities at Denver International Airport. Those with MBAs concentrated in administration may qualify for academic careers affiliated with the University of Colorado Boulder. Lockheed Martin also needs management professionals and individuals with sound business judgement.
Careers for MBA Grads in Colorado
In Colorado, management analysts can expect a 27% growth rate in employment from 2016-2026 -- nearly double the national projection. Colorado offers high-paying opportunities for management analysts in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan settings.
In cities like Fort Collins and Denver, Colorado, management analysts earned median salaries of $103,110 and $95,740, respectively, exceeding the national median. In the northwest nonmetropolitan area of Colorado, the third-highest-paying nonmetropolitan area in the United States, management analysts earn an annual mean wage of just under $118,800.
Management analysts find ways to improve organizational efficiency and efficacy. By gathering data, these professionals identify strategies for eliminating redundancies, articulate new processes and procedures, and find ways to reduce costs. Management analysts often work as consultants, providing services on a contractual basis. They may specialize in a specific industry such as healthcare, information technology, or manufacturing.
Marketing managers, poised for an 8% growth rate across the country from 2016-2026, can expect nearly three times that growth rate in Colorado. With a projected 21% growth in employment, Colorado offers widespread opportunities for marketing management professionals.
Marketing managers assess market trends and overall demand for goods and services. They work with advertising and promotions colleagues to create campaigns and boost sales, providing strategies for maximizing profits. They also anticipate market needs, assisting in product development and rollout.
In Colorado, the fourth-highest-paying state for the profession, marketing managers earn an annual mean salary of nearly $170,000. Nationwide, marketing managers earn an annual mean wage exceeding $147,000. In Boulder, Colorado, marketing managers make the highest salaries in the state, earning an annual median wage of $180,570.
Computer and IT Systems Manager
Boulder, Colorado, also offered the highest median wage for computer and IT systems managers in 2018, approaching $157,000. Throughout Colorado, computer and IT systems managers earned an annual median wage of almost $154,000 -- more than $10,000 above national estimates.
Computer and IT systems managers oversee computer-related activities in an organization or business. They assess computer needs to play, coordinate, and maintain software and hardware installation and use. Computer and IT systems managers work closely with computer analysts, information technology specialists, and information security professionals, while simultaneously consulting with executives and fellow managers to define institutional goals.
Financial managers in Colorado earned an annual median salary of $146,000 in 2018, exceeding the national figure by almost $20,000. Nearly 600 financial managers work in Boulder, Colorado, the fifth-highest-paying metropolitan area for financial managers in the United States. Financial managers can expect an 18% growth in employment in Colorado from 2016-2016 as the state continues to provide opportunities for financial managers.
Financial managers ensure the financial health of an organization by monitoring business activities. They supervise fellow finance-related professionals, including accountants and bookkeepers, while gathering data to report on budgets, market trends, and financial forecasts to fellow managers and executives.
Human Resource Manager
Human resource managers work in organizations across industrial sectors, overseeing hiring, training, and support practices and processes. Human resource managers plan and administer benefit programs, handle complaints and disputes, and ensure regulatory compliance as needed.
Human resource managers in Colorado earned an annual median salary of just under $130,000 -- more than $15,000 above the national estimate. Human resource manager positions can expect a 23% increase in employment from 2016-2026, over three times the expected national 7% growth rate.
With large employers such as Western Union, Denver Health, and the University of Boulder, Colorado's major cities of Denver and Boulder offer the state's top-paying human resource manager positions. Colorado Springs, Colorado -- home to Verizon Business -- also provides lucrative options for human resource professionals.
MBA Concentrations for Colorado Students
Online MBA programs in Colorado build financial, leadership, and managerial knowledge and skills. With fundamental knowledge of business theories and practices, an online MBA increases earning potential and career opportunities.
Many online MBAs also include concentrations, enhancing competencies in specific areas such as healthcare management. Top employers in Colorado include Denver Health, the Children's Hospital of Colorado, and Presbyterian St. Luke Medical Center, highlighting the need for healthcare administration professionals.
Additional MBA concentrations include information technology, public administration, and accounting. To learn more about specialized MBA programs and their benefits, visit the MBA concentration hub.